Pompeo arrives for his first visit to Morocco

50 views
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Morocco's Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita during his visit to Rabat on Thursday. — AFP
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Morocco's Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita during his visit to Rabat on Thursday. — AFP

RABAT — Top US diplomat Mike Pompeo visited Morocco on Thursday as the highest-ranking American official to travel there since the election of President Donald Trump.

The State Department has called Morocco an "essential partner" in the US diplomatic strategy in the region.

"We have a great relationship between our two countries," Pompeo said as he began his meetings in Rabat. "We make our people safer in each of our two countries."

The trip comes after Pompeo announced last month that the United States no longer considered Jewish settlements in the West Bank to be illegal.

The announcement broke with decades of international consensus that the settlements are illegal and a major barrier to peace with the Palestinians.

The king of Morocco last month called for an end to "the policy of colonization in the occupied Palestinian territories" and reiterated his support for a two-state solution.

On Wednesday, Pompeo met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Portugal in talks dominated by policy on their arch-enemy Iran.

Pompeo said they "discussed efforts to counter Iran's destabilizing influence in the region, the importance of economic cooperation with regional partners and other issues related to Israel's security".

The US Secretary of State's program was to include an audience with King Mohammed VI and a meeting with Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.


50 views